When it comes to Summertime picnics and family gatherings, I always look forward to eating some great Cole Slaw. 

The word Cole Slaw (also spelled as coleslaw), basically means raw cabbage salad. It can be made from white or red cabbage. The slaw can be eaten as a side dish or as a food topping, such as the case with Southern hot dogs. 

Cole Slaw was traditionally made just from cabbage. However, these days you will find recipes that include the addition of: carrots, green peppers, onions and celery. I have also seen recipes that include the addition of fresh fruits such as apples, grapes, and chunks of pineapple.

When making Cole Slaw it's important to refrigerate your slaw for several hours. The refrigeration helps the dressing to infuse into the cabbage and other vegetables. 

When picking out the perfect cabbage head, you need to look for one that is compact and firm. It should have crisp leaves, no brown spots or insect damage. You can use bagged shredded cabbage that is commonly found at your grocery store, but I prefer to make my own, the old fashioned way.

I would like to share 3 of my favorite recipes with you. 

Spanish Cole Slaw 

1 head cabbage, shredded 
1 green pepper, sliced 
1 onion, sliced 
1 jar sliced pimento 
1/2 c. vinegar

1/2 c. salad oil 
1 c. sugar 

In a large bowl combine cabbage, green pepper, onion, and pimento. In a large saucepan bring vinegar, salad oil, and sugar to a boil. Pour over the slaw ingredients, mix well. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 12 hours before serving.

Cabbage Pepper Slaw 

4 c. cabbage 
1/2 c. green pepper 
2 tbsp. sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
1 tsp. celery seed 
dash of white pepper 
2 tbsp. vinegar 
1 tsp. prepared mustard 
1/2 c. salad dressing 

Combine vegetables, sugar, salt, celery seed and pepper in a large bowl. Combine vinegar, mustard and salad dressing in a small bowl, stir until blended. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 4 hours before serving.

Creamy Cole Slaw 

1 c. mayonnaise 
1/4 c. milk 
2 tbsp. sugar 
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 onion, finely chopped 
1 head of cabbage, shredded 
1-2 carrots, shredded 
1 green pepper, finely chopped 

In a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, milk, sugar and salt. Stir until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

The next time you are hosting a family picnic, I hope you will give one of these recipes a try.